The single player who has the potential to propel the Edmonton Oilers to a Cup win

Unified play is crucial in hockey, making it the ultimate team sport. Yet, the Edmonton Oilers have an opportunity for a player to carry his team to their first Cup win in nearly three decades.
Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game Five
Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game Five / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Hockey fans know they will see elite play from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

It could be argued that McDavid, one of the world's greatest hockey players, exhibits a touch of the Great One's finesse when gracefully controlling the puck.

McDavid swiftly scored, practically toying with the Dallas Stars, in a power-play goal that played a role in the Oilers' game-six win against Dallas.

However, outside of the talented duo of McDavid and Draisaitl, one somewhat under-the-radar player has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Stuart Skinner 

Stuart Skinner, 25 years old, has had his ups and downs this season, including in postseason play.

Skinner faced criticism during parts of the Vancouver Canucks series but received praise after the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Stars.

In regular season play, Skinner concluded with a .905 SV% in 59 games, compared to his .914 SV% in 2022-23.

The postseason hasn't been as impressive, with Skinner currently sitting at a .897 SV%.

In game six in the Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Stars attacked him all night. He secured the victory with a .971 save percentage after defending 33 shots.

In order for the Oilers to have a real shot at beating the talented Florida Panthers, Skinner needs to replicate his game six performance.

Skinner, with an All-Star appearance in 2023, is well aware of the sky-high expectations for his talent-packed Oilers team. As someone born and raised in Edmonton, he has a golden opportunity to make a name for himself in the finals.

Skinner should anticipate aggressive play from the Florida Panthers

Without a doubt, the Florida Panthers will aim to replicate the Dallas Stars by pursuing Skinner in aggressive play.  

The Panthers have a favorable setting for the first two games, with their home ice giving them an edge and adding pressure on Skinner.

While Skinner has had some difficulties in certain games, particularly against Vancouver, he overcame hostile crowds and led his team to success.

His impressive number of defended shots against Dallas should boost his confidence, especially when playing on the road. 

Like the 2019 St. Louis Blues, led by Jordan Binnington, Skinner is young and can prove the critics wrong.

When the series ends, Skinner will probably be seen as either a hero or the reason the Oilers lost.

As of now, all eyes are on the goaltending of Stuart Skinner.